It’s been a very busy week in formula one.
A number of teams have had their car launches and there have been some confirmations on tracks for the upcoming season too.
Firstly, this morning (Friday) it was confirmed that the Portuguese Grand Prix will go ahead as the third race of the 2021 season.
The event, scheduled to be held between the 30th of April and the 2nd of May, had been in doubt due to the Covid-19 situation in the country.
Portuguese authorities will decide in the next few weeks if spectators will be allowed to attend.
Last October, F1 returned to Portugal for the first time in 25 years with Lewis Hamilton claiming a record 92nd career win ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.
Incoming F1 driver Nikita Mazepin released a statement this week saying he has learned from the “huge mistake” he made with a social media post in Abu Dhabi last year, described at the time as ‘abhorrent’ by his Haas team.
The team subsequently dealt with the matter internally, the details of which were kept private, with Mazepin facing the media for the first time since the incident on Thursday, as Haas revealed a fresh new look for 2021.
Nikita posted a video on social media where he appeared to grope a young woman, the video has been criticised widely.
In the statement, he said “How I reflect on my actions is pretty clear. I’m not proud of it, I didn’t behave as I meant to behave in Formula 1, and the transition phase of realising what I achieved has been very short and I didn’t adapt as quickly as I should have”.
“But I have taken responsibility for it and I am ready to keep doing it because I’d like to be very strong in my position and certain.”
Haas car launch
The American team Haas launched their 2021 challenger during the week with a new livery that contains the colours red, white and blue.
The colours signify what we understand is the Russian flag but is also the colours of the American flag.
It has attracted some controversy though as there’s currently a ban on any sportspeople operating using a Russian flag following doping controversies in the country. Athletes are supposed to represent their county under a neutral banner.
The colours on the car could also be seen as support of their title sponsor Urakali, a fertiliser company which is part-owned by wealthy businessman Dmitry Mazepin, father of Nikita.
It’s an all-new line up for Haas this year too as Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin take over from Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.
Aston Martin return to Formula One
One of the hotly anticipated new cars of 2021 was revealed during the week, with Aston Martin unveiling their first Formula 1 car in more than 60 years.
The team raced as Racing Point last year but have rebranded over the winter after owner Lawrence Stroll bought the Aston Martin road car business.
The car is called the AMR21 and runs the iconic Aston Martin racing green livery along with a pink stripe in places which is a nod to their sponsors BWT.
Driving the car this year is Lance Stroll and World Champion Sebastian Vettel, following his switch from Ferrari.
The car got a run out in Silverstone on Thursday for their shakedown.
Renault change to Alpine Racing
Renault has taken on their Alpine brand for 2021 as they change their organisation and the F1 team.
With it they ditch the yellow livery and on Tuesday revealed the blue, red and white A521 F1 car to the world.
Alpine’s paint scheme is to reflect the French flag and the British Union Jack as a nod to the team’s Viry and Enstone factories in France and Britain.
World champion Fernando Alonso returns to Formula 1 to race with the team alongside Frenchman Esteban Ocon.
Former AlphaTauri driver Daniil Kvyat was unveiled as their reserve driver.
Mercedes unveil their car to defend World title
Mercedes pulled the cloak off their 2021 car which they hope will land them an eighth consecutive World Championship double in 2021.
The Brackley-based team are aiming for that with their new Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance.
The Mercedes paint job last year was all black as a symbol of support for diversity and a stand against racism and discrimination, and they have kept that in main for this year, however, the car now has a silver gradient at the back of the car with a number of AMG logos on it.
It also carries red around the air intake for their sponsor and now team shareholder Ineos.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will once again be driving the silver arrows car, with Lewis looking for a record-breaking eight World title, one more than Michael Schumacher and the most of all time.
Lewis has signed a one year contract with the team after a drawn-out process but said that he wants to leave options open to him as the sport and life change quite quickly.